Cultural memory loss

Essay by bradikeHigh School, 12th grade May 2004

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In the stories "The Lovers" by Bessie head, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and the essay "Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell they all deal with the idea of a culture trying to mix traditional aspects and modern aspects. In each of these stories the main character confronts the traditional culture of one group of people being mixed and changed by the modern culture of the European's. Also I will talk about the changes in our more modern culture through the eyes of my grand father.

In Thing Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe the main character Okonkwo has a hard time dealing with any change in his traditional culture. This happens many times in the novel. For example the time when he is told that his adopted son Ikemefuna is to be killed Okonkwo has no problem with it because it was tradition to listen to what ever the oracle says and not question it.

Again later when his gun accidentally goes off and kills off and kills one of the children of Ezeudu and the clan comes up with the idea of the female crime of murder of another clansman. This frustrates Okonkwo because it is breaking the tradition of having to be exiled for the rest of his life instead he could comeback in seven years. This change reminds Okonkwo of how his father was and how he had broken tradition many times. Okonkwo is also a hypocrite at time like when he attacked his wife during the week of peace and when he committed suicide in the end of the story.

In "The Lovers" by Bessie head the main characters Keaja and Tselane break and change tradition in many ways. The first tradition that they break in the tradition that young men and women did not...